Dateline New Orleans: 2010 BBC Showcase


Working extremely hard on your behalf, it’s Thursday and we find ourselves in New Orleans attending the third annual BBC Syndication Showcase meeting. New Orleans?  BBC? Fair questions. Well, this is THE meeting where public television programmers from around country sit in a room for several days screening BBC programming for possible acquisition and broadcast. As usual, the first day was packed with offers of simply the best television on television, bar none. Here’s a quick glimpse at a few of the shows that look promising that will, most likely, come your way via public television in the coming year.

Comedy

  • Outnumbered – two parents, three young children. Who’s patience will run out first in this intense battle of wills. Shot documentary style like The Office, the rumored cool factor to the script is that the adults are scripted, but the kids have free reign to ad-lib as only kids can do.
  • Black Books – imagine a really very grumpy Basil Fawlty owning a book store. Bernard Black loves books, but harbors a complete disdain for customers. His logic may be alcohol-fueled, but it’s what keeps him going daily. Written by Father Ted and IT Crowd creator/writer, Graham Linehan and stars Dylan Moran and Bill Bailey.
  • Worst Week of My Life – the trials and tribulations of Howard and Mel in the week leading up to their wedding. Sort of a Meet the Parents, but much better. Stars Ben Miller (Primeval) and Sarah Alexander (Coupling, Green Wing).

Action Drama/Mystery

  • MI5 – the 9th season is back better than ever (trust me). This time it’s Somali pirates, Russians and Lucas’ mysterious past all wreak havoc on Section D. Stars Richard Armitage and Peter Firth.
  • Ashes to Ashes – sequel to the greatness that is Life on Mars, DCI Gene Hunt enters the 80’s swapping his Ford Cortina for an Audi Quattro. Stars Philip Glennister and Keeley Hawes.
  • Hustle – the producers of MI5, Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes enter the world of the grifter. A world where five con artists are let loose on the city of London with the sole purpose of “liberating cash” from the amoral and undeserving. They may not be saints, but they are better than those they “hustle”.

Science/Natural History/Documentary

  • Space Age: NASA’s Story – the definitive history of mankind’s journey into space. From the Cold War up through to today, the series features stunning restored footage, home movies, interviews with astronauts, family members, journalists and NASA personnel. Features not only the triumphs, but the risks and tragedies as well.
  • Bodysnatchers – the world of parasites that invade our body on a daily basis is explored in more detail than you can ever imagine.
  • Mexico’s Drug Wars – a look at the on going drug wars in Mexico, a country faced with drug cartels vying for control of smuggling routes to America.
  • Britain’s X-Files – 50 years of top-secret British government files are made public which lay claim to numerous UFO sightings in Britain in the 50’s.

More tomorrow with the likes of new seasons of New Tricks, Waking the Dead, Doctor Who, Old Guys, etc. Time to experience a bit of New Orleans before it’s time to screen again.

  • Tom Johnson

    My vote goes for Hustle. What an amazing, polished, well-acted and written show!! It oozes class and is so enjoyable to watch. Truly an astoundingly good series. With 5 series (at least 30, 1-hour episodes) it would gain a loyal following among Brit TV fans.

    If possible, please check out “The Detectives” if they’re offering it. It has a huge number of episodes and looks promising from what I’ve watched so far. A good, recent comedy series.

    The Worst Week of My Life also has promise as you’ve mentioned.

    Sorry, but Black Books still leaves me cold.

    Happy hunting!!

  • Stephanie F

    The new New Tricks season, please, the sooner the better! My boyfriend and I just returned from the UK where we managed to catch the first three episodes of the new season on the BBC iPlayer, and it was enough to whet our appetites for more.

    • Stephanie: Hear you on New Tricks. Good news, it’s something that we definitely will be getting for KERA. Bad news, earliest will be January 2011 but, more likely, we will not get broadcast rights until April 2011. One way or another, we will be getting for North Texas.

  • Stephanie F

    Thanks! We’ll make sure the DVR is set! 🙂